Publication Date


Degree Type

Doctoral Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Katherine K. Kelly

Second Advisor

Carey Webster

Third Advisor

Kim Newlin


Education, Ostomy, WOCN, Presurgical


Background: There are approximately 100,000 patients with new ileostomies and colostomies created in the United States each year. These patients have specialized needs that include acceptance of altered body image, psychological stress, learning of difficult tasks, and occasionally an ominous diagnosis leading to the need for surgery. In addition to pre-surgical stoma site marking on the abdomen, ostomy nurses have identified early education to be an important factor in long-term success and management of the patient . Early education and stoma site marking may assist with a better-situated stoma leading to fewer complications related to appliance adherence and leakage. New ostomy patients that are well prepared may be able to adapt to the new body image and are more successful in management following ostomy surgery.

Problem: Psychologists and sociologists have identified a link between anxiety levels and memory. Anxiety can affect learning by interfering with the attention process of the brain. This interference can hinder the ability of ostomy patients to effectively listen, learn, and perform ostomy care for themselves which places an increased demand on family, caregivers, and home health nurses. Pre-surgical education may offer reduced anxiety levels in post-operative patients, which may provide an improved environment for learning.

Methods: Participants considered for study inclusion were those scheduled for ostomy surgery. Patients in Group 1 were provided with pre-surgical ostomy education and routine pre-surgical education, whereas patients in Group 2 were provided with routine pre-operative education only. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scoring tool (HADS) was administered during the post- operative period. The surveys were administered by a certified wound, ostomy, continence nurse practitioner. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was used to compare changes in anxiety scores between the two groups.

Results: Of the 30 participants in the study, 22 were male (73.3%) and 8 were female (26.7%). The mean age was 65.27 ± 9.97 for Group 1 and 61.87 ± 17.56 for group 2. This difference was not statistically significant (p>0.05). Both groups had an equal number of males (n=11) and females (n=4). Group 1 consisted of 9 colostomy patients, 4 ileostomy patients, and 2 urostomy patients. Group 2 consisted of 10 colostomy patients, 4 ileostomy patients and 1 urostomy patient. Patients who had pre-surgical ostomy education had statistically significant lower post surgical anxiety scores than patients who had standard education (p<0.001).

Conclusions: The findings of this study suggest that offering pre-operative ostomy education in addition to routine pre-operative education, significantly lowers anxiety when compared with patients who do not receive the pre-operative ostomy education.


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